Hearing the Service

St John’s has an Induction Loop System so if you have a hearing aid, please switch it to the ’T’ setting.

The Choir

begins their new year today. We are pleased to welcome new scholars for this year – sopranos Catriona Hewitson and Emily Burnett, alto Beth Moxon, counter-tenor Tom Scott-Cowell, tenor Stephen Mills and basses Kieran Rayner and Harry Thatcher – along with one familiar face - tenor Wagner Moreira.  Please take time to say hello and introduce yourself to the choir over choir. All our singers, along with Robert and Nicky, our organist again this year, are such an important part of our life and worship here at St John’s.

Dixit Dominus

From the beginning of September up until Advent the choir, with various instruments, will be performing different settings of the first verse of Dixit Dominus, Psalm 110: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. This psalm is the first psalm of Vespers (a sunset evening prayer service) on Sundays and major feast days. 

This Sunday the choir with instruments are singing the Dixit dominus by Mozart, which is the first movement of six, from his Vesperae solennes de confessore, K.339. It was composed in 1780 and first performed for liturgical use at Salzburg Cathedral. It was Mozart’s final piece he composed for the Cathedral. 

Pippa Turner

Pippa’s Institution and Induction at St Philip’s, Earl’s Court Road will be this Wednesday, 6th September, at 7pm.  The church is north of Earl’s Court, on Earl’s Court Road between Cromwell Road and High Street Kensington.  If you would like to attend, you are kindly requested to rsvp on 

Horseman’s Sunday

17th September 2017

September isn’t far off now and that means Horseman’s Sunday will soon be upon us.  This year marks a milestone – it is the 50th Blessing of the Horses!  We’re planning the event now and if you have any ideas for stalls or fund raisers, please speak to Antonio.  This annual community event is perhaps the high point of the local calendar and St John’s is proud to be working with many different members of our community in preparation for this year’s festival.  Once again the festival Eucharist will be followed by the Cavalcade of Horses gathering in the forecourt for the blessing.  Community and fund raising stalls will be located on the forecourt and you can wander around with a glass of wine and listen to the jazz band.

Volunteers Needed

Can you help to sell raffle tickets and with stewarding?  Are you willing to get involved in setting up before the service and, most importantly, to take part in the collection?  We have the time it takes to sing a short hymn in order to take the collection giving people ample time to have gotten their pound coins out of their pockets so we need lots of people willing to help with the collection in order that nobody feels left out!  Your Church Needs You!  Please help.

In addition to the usual volunteers, this year we are looking for someone with particular PR skills to help us to publicise this milestone event. If you can help, please speak to Bryan Sollenberger after the service.

Draw of the Year

This year we are again offering our fabulous hamper as the top prize. You can help us make up this year’s St John’s hamper by donating suitable items such as a bottle of wine, fruit cake, jams, pickles, box of chocolates, Scottish shortbread, Christmas pudding! – you get the idea.  Items for the hamper can be delivered to the office.

Cake Stall

Our famous Horseman’s Sunday Cake Stall will be taking place again. Grab the chance to show off your culinary skills and, if you are going to be busy in September, bake it now and freeze it for the big day!

Culture Vulture Ventures

Wine and canapes in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour Monday 18th September 7-8.30pm

At Westminster City Council’s temporary headquarters, 5 The Strand, WC2N 5HR close to Charing Cross, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Ian Adams, will open his 8th floor parlour to Culture Vultures.  Ian will welcome us; his chaplain, the Reverend Steve Mason, will speak to us theologically about the office of Lord Mayor and we will view some of the Council’s silver and art collections.  All this while we enjoy the stunning view over Trafalgar Square and enjoy the Lord Mayor’s hospitality.  Please give Margaret £15 per head (cheques preferred), which will be donated to the Lord Mayor’s charities: Age UK Westminster and the Social Mobility Foundation.

Farewell to Robin Sims-Williams

Robin joined Team St John’s as a training curate after completing his training and being ordained at St Paul’s in the summer of 2013 - he was ordained priest at St John’s a year later during the 10am Sunday service. In July we were pleased to announce Robin had been appointed Priest-in-Charge of All Saints’, Child’s Hill in West Barnet, but we will also be sad to see him go. We will say good-by to Robin, Helen, Iris and Meredith and celebrate their time here on Sunday, 24th September. Robin will be licensed at All Saints’ on the 9th October at 7pm, member of St John’s congregation are very welcome to come along, please sign up in the porch so that All Saints’ has an idea of numbers.

William Gibbs Concert

28th September 2017, 7.30pm

As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of our pipe organ, more affectionately known as Betty, St John’s Choral Scholars will be conducting a concert to raise money for the William Gibbs Charitable Trust which generously supports our choral scholars in their studies along with other educational endeavours. St John’s has also regularly been a beneficiary of the trust. The first half will be a Mass-terful Musical Meandering through Mass settings from different periods of music. The second half will be an Operatic Odyssey of solos, duets and trios.

Organ Recital

30th September 2017, 5.00pm

Two years ago we welcomed Betty, our pipe organ, back from her Heritage Lottery Funded spa holiday in Malvern (at Nicholson organ builders).  Now we have the last of the Lottery Funded Organ Recitals. Edward Kemp-Luck of the Royal Academy of Music will be serenading us.

Harvest Sunday Family Eucharist

1st October 2017, 10am

This year’s harvest service will be bee-themed - so wear yellow and bee-have. There will also be a collection for the West London Day Centre alongside a bucket collection for a bee charity.

St John’s Book Club

St John’s Book Club meets Monday, 2nd October, when they will be discussing Henry Fielding’s ‘The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling’.  See Michael King for further information.


I've been busy over the past few days planning lots of events during the autumn, including of course the Culture Vultures visit to the Lord Mayor's Parlour on 18 September!  Over the coming week I am meeting some top chefs, including Albert Roux, who help to make Westminster an international destination for top-quality cuisine.  I will attend a reception to mark the 195th anniversary of Brazilian independence.  Plus there are a couple of church services this week - one for London mayors at St Paul's Cathedral and a Feast of Title at St Mary's Paddington Green.  Chris and I will also be in Richmond on Saturday to see the end of the Great River Race on the Thames.


School Gate Gossip

Our school, St James and St John CofE primar, begins the new school year on Tuesday and will have it’s beginning of year service on Thursday at 2pm - all are welcome to come along and worship with the students as they begin their year.

Before the summer, the school had a SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools). We are delighted that our status as a good school is confirmed. What the report says about our pupils, staff and parents confirms that we are doing the right things to ensure that the children in our care start their education with emphasis not only on academia but also on becoming caring, compassionate, respectful and thoughtful people. The Christian values which underpin our daily school life are recognized as being of great value to all our pupils from all faiths and none.  We owe our thanks to the head teacher, all our staff and our clergy, not only for their work in implementing the RE curriculum and delivering good impacts but also in fostering an environment in which the children can grow in safety and confidence. You can download the report from the school’s homepage:

Under Five’s Playgroups

An international playgroup aimed at Russian speakers meets in St John’s on Wednesdays at 10am.  Other playgroups meet on Wednesdays at 3.45pm which is also for early school years and Thursdays at 10am. After a hiatus over the summer, the Wednesday groups will start this week (on the 6th September) while the Thursday morning group will restart the following week (on the 14th September) Suggested donation for all groups: £2. Information about the playgroups can be found at and for the Russian speaking playgroup.